university of washington blog

USC Trojans vs. UW Huskies things to love & hate from Saturday

Huskies Lose Winnable Game

The Washington Huskies lost a frustrating game 24-14 to USC Saturday. Let’s break down the highlights and low-lights.

Love ‘Em

Austin Seferian-Jenkins

ASJ had a huge game Saturday, with five receptions for 83 yards and one touchdown. He is already sixth all time in the UW record books for receptions by a tight end. Although he committed some early penalties, he made up for it later by using his size, strength and great hands to rack up tough yards for the Huskies.

At one point it did appear he was limping getting up from a play, but there have been no reports of an injury. He was very clearly Keith Price‘s first option.

Pass Defense

The Huskies held Trojan recievers Marqise Lee and Robert Woods to a combined seven catches and zero touchdowns. I’ll take that.

Barkley wasn’t making the best throws, but in general the UW secondary was solid on the day. The much-vaunted, high-scoring USC passing game was absent Saturday.

CenturyLink Field Getting Loud

USC gave up ten penalties for 70 yards, including multiple false starts, and you could tell the atmosphere at CenturyLink rattled them at times.

That’s the home-field advantage Seattle football needs for upsets. Just ask the Packers.

Hate ‘Em

The Offensive Line

Keith Price vs USC

Keith Price has been beat up all season. Photo Credit: The Washington Post

It isn’t totally fair to rip on a unit that’s suffered so many injuries, but Keith Price has been getting the snot beat out of him all season, and on Saturday, things came to a head.

Price was sacked five times and took some bone-jarring hits from USC’s front four. While USC’s defensive line deserves some credit, the offensive line has been questionable at best all year in pass protection.

Price didn’t have a great game, but part of the reason is he spent half of it running for his life. The mix of injured veterans, inexperienced rookies, and true freshmen that currently make up the offensive line need to step it up.

Bishop Sankey did rush for a respectable 54 yards.

Kasen Williams Disappearing

Kasen Williams started off the game with a 17 yard touchdown pass to put the Huskies on the board near the end of the first quarter. USC has had issues finding a reliable second cornerback, and Williams looked poised to put up a big performance.

But after that he had only one more catch and didn’t touch the ball for the last 46 minutes of the game.  A No. 1 wide receiver simply cannot disappear like that in a big game.

Shaq Thompson’s Injury

One of the highlights of the season has been the great play of true freshman cornerback Shaq Thompson. Thompson went down in the fourth quarter with an undetermined injury and left the game.

Losing Thompson would be a big blow to the defense, which honestly has been one of the team’s strengths this year most of the time.

Stopping The Run

Matt Barkley was honestly mediocre at best Saturday. But it didn’t matter, because the running game carried the Trojans.

Silas Redd slashed Washington’s defense for 155 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries,  with Curtis McNeal chipping in 58 yards on 11 carries. USC is always deep at running back, but the Huskies couldn’t take advantages of Barkley’s bad day with the Trojans unstoppable on the ground.

Honestly, if Anthony Brown hadn’t returned that punt for a touchdown before halftime, and Price hadn’t coughed up the ball in the fourth quarter, this might have been a completely different game. The Huskies held the Trojans scoreless the entire second half, but couldn’t capitalize.

It’s frustrating to lose a very winnable game, but the Huskies have a week to lick their wounds and refocus mentally before traveling to Arizona to take on the Wildcats.

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